Just Play instructor course kicks off

Lance Polu

, Sports

The target - young children starting off in the game

APIA: 8 Dec 2010 – Two representatives Tunoa Lui and Atufili Talaia from the Football Federation Samoa (FFS) are currently in New Zealand attending a grassroots ‘Just Play’ course.

The three-day intensive training will take place at the Charles J. Dempsey Academy in Penrose and aims to equip the participants with tools they need to expand the initiative even further, following a successful pilot phase.

Through funding support from the Australian Government, the course will benefit not just the 2 FFS participants, but another 14 who are representing seven island nations including Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

All of the instructors are highly trained and linked with the technical departments of the respective member associations.

Lui who is the technical director of FFS, has been working hard to ensure that football counties to grow in Samoa especially at the junior and youth level. He is also responsible for the elite program, which involves preparing the National Teams for next years South Pacific games.

Talaia is the ‘Just Play’ grassroots project manager for Samoa. ‘Just Play’ was launched in Samoa in June 2010. A total number of 19 schools as well as 2 communities participated in the six-week pilot program.  Close to 8000 children between the ages of 6-12 participated in Samoa.

OFC head of social responsibility Franck Castillo, who leads the Just Play project for the pacific region, says the course provides an opportunity to develop vital skills for the instructors who will be the key to implementing a successful programme.

“These instructors will be accredited to deliver the Just Play initiative, developing skills to train teachers, oaches and volunteers so that even more youngsters can be reached through this football-for-development programme,” says Castillo.

“The key targets of Just Play include education and gender equality which are taught through practical sessions and fun festivals.”

OFC staff offering their expertise during the course include Just Play consultant Vania Kenning and women’s development officer Emmie Sope, plus Patrick Jacquemet, Colin Tuaa and Didier Chambaron from the technical department.